At the PlayEject offices we love watching Rugby – a proper man’s game although we know we’d get mauled if we tried to play it! So Rugby World Cup 2011 pops on the review desk and we relished the idea of being able to make some great flying tries and Johnny Wilkinson style drop goals on the Xbox 360 and PS3 without the cauliflower ears!

First thing we noticed when we booted up the Rugby World Cup 2011 game was the presentation on the intro footage. A little video of great looking famous faces had been meticulously crafted with all the crunches and tries you’d expect to make any Rugby fan excited. Get to the main options screen and the first thing you are told is that in order to play with the proper licensed kits you need to get the code from the Rugby World Cup game website.
Rugby World Cup 2011 Game Xbox 360 PS3 review PlayEject
That struck us as very odd. We found the site and the code on the homepage and then popped the code in and was told the kits were unlocked. Nothing was downloaded and no code from the game’s manual or box needed to be installed. It was a very pointless exercise. Becasue nothing was downloaded we assume that kits were already on the disc and its not that the new kits were updated from this code. Its all a bit odd. But we now have the proper kits so onto the game.

You can play from a selection of game modes – a friendly tour of the Northern or Southern hemisphere or the World Cup competiton. There’s no quick route an exhibition match or even the option to play a single game – you have to pick from the set game modes with set number of matches. Bit of a drawback if you just fancy trying out some different teams!

Now we like Rugby and know most of the many rules of the game. We’ve also played other Rugby games in the past so know about Mauls, Rucks, Tries, Penalty Kicks and Scrums. But when you have a different set of controls for each one it can be confusing. So be warned – your first few games will not be fun. You will have to persevere in order to let your brain catch up with where the right button for a soccer kick is or a dummy pass. But get your head around the controls and it starts to be a more enjoyable experience.

However even if you do get into the controls and get past the difficult first few games, there are a number of other flaws which stopped us from really getting into Rugby World Cup 2011.
Rugby World Cup 2011 Game Xbox 360 PS3 review PlayEject
The camera angle is too far away – there’s only two options: view from the side of the pitch or view from behind a goal. There’s no zoom or height change options which means when you come to things like tackling it becomes partly down to luck as to whether or not you can stop the winger getting past you as its so difficult to judge whether you’re in line with him or not. So many times we flew towards a player like superman only to realise we were a foot or so out of line with the attacker and was left for dead in our own 22.

The biggest problem with this game and any other Rugby (Union) game we’ve come across is that there are so many intracacies to the game, the way it is played and the variations on rules that it must be incredibly difficult to make a great game which covers these sections in their own right and can succesfully build them into one final main game. Rugby World Cup 2011 has come pretty close – the main core sections are all there but unfortunately the finishing touches, or lack thereof, have let it down.

Die hard Rugby fans will no doubt relish the chance to play a semi decent Rugby game on their consoles at last but in even the keenest of fans will be disappointed.

Rugby World Cup 2011 Game trailer:

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